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Full text of "NightRider"

ing light, and then looked up the long drive across the meadov
to the grove where the house was. The grove, except for th<
dark masses of the cedars, was leafless now, and the upper par
of the house was visible.

For five nights he slept with a loaded rifle propped at thi
head of the bed. At first he considered getting one of the mei
to come up and stay at the house with him, one of them wh<
had been on the place a long time, one he could depend on
but he dismissed the idea. It wasn't their trouble, he decided
and decided that, after all, nobody would bother him, tha
the letters were a meaningless threat. He did, however, pu
one of the dogs in the house each night, giving it the run o
the front hall, the back hall, and the kitchen, for if anybod1
tried to fire the house he would probably begin with th
porches, the only wooden parts exposed. The dog inside woul<
certainly notice any prowler who got that close to the house
even if the dog outside were disposed "of before giving ai
alarm.

During those five nights Mr. Munn would wake, thmkinj
that a sound had disturbed him. He would take the rifle am
creep to a window to peer out over the dark-dappled yard
where the trees were, toward the open ground of the meadow
There would be nothing, or nothing but those sounds whicl
were so much a part of the night that they were nothing
Then he would go back and climb into the big bed, and tn
to go to sleep. He could not go back to sleep readily, n<
matter how tired he had been upon first getting to bed
Things would come to his mind, faces and speculations am
events from the past that crowded through his head with <
clamorous and independent vigour above his will, crowding
devouringly and aimlessly like a mob breaking at last into <
locked mansion. Those things, it seemed to him, must go or
and on living their independent realities over and over, for
ever in new combinations and couplings and with new varia
tions. They must go incessantly on like the distracted wate:
of the sea, shifting and retreating and approaching and shat
tering itself and rejoining, while he slept or while his atten